(News article for September 2020)
Have you started planning your Thanksgiving meal yet? With the hustle and bustle of school starting, and stress of Covid-19, I doubt many people have begun meal planning for three months down the road. Gardening is a wonderful way to relieve stress so why not kill two birds with one stone? Shallots are an easy plant to grow and if you plant them now, you will have plenty for cornbread dressing and other holiday dishes.
Shallots are what most people around here call “green onions” and I am starting to see them for sale in garden centers and co-ops. I love planting shallots because they are incredibly easy to grow, taste wonderful in a variety of recipes, freeze well, and have a long growing season. You can plant a few shallots in a pot on your porch and eat from them for months!
The Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide recommends planting shallots between August 1 and February 28. I recommend you plant them by the end of September if you want to have a good crop for holiday dishes.
Loosen your soil and apply 5 pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer per 100-foot row, or 300 square feet. If you are planting in a pot, use two tablespoons of 8-8-8 for a pot that is 2 feet in diameter. Plant shallot bulbs 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. Side dress with another dose of fertilizer in four to six weeks.
Harvest shallots by digging the entire clump or by cutting the tops off. When you cut the tops off, the plant will continue to grow and produce new leaves! I like to cut the tops off one or two times before digging the clump to get the most bang for my buck. If you plant enough of them, you will have plenty for holiday dishes and enough bulbs to save for next year’s planting.
Shallots left in the ground will grow a stalk and flower in May or June. The flowers are a pretty addition to the landscape and pollinators love them! After the flower has died off, you can dig the entire clump and save the bulbs for a new planting in the fall. Dig the clump and let it dry out for a few days. Then, separate the bulbs and store in a cool, dry place until the next planting season. Good luck!
Jessie Hoover is a County Agent with the LSU AgCenter covering horticulture in East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa parishes. For more information on these or related topics contact Jessie at 225-683-3101 or visit the LSU AgCenter website.
Shallots planted August 14 in a raised bed. Photo by Jessie Hoover.
Shallots bulbs. Photo by Jessie Hoover.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture